Blind Bargains

Fashion Sense with Jywanza: Shopping Tips and Tricks

I love finding a bargain. Who doesn’t? If you shop wisely, you don’t have to break the bank to feel and look marvelous!! Before I go on, let me tell you the difference between cheap and Inexpensive clothes. To me, cheap clothes are poor quality. They typically fade, shrink, pill up and don't last. However, Inexpensive clothes are good quality clothes that will last. Please don’t be fooled….. There are some designer brands that make cheap clothes. My clothes are relatively Inexpensive. I can't afford to buy cheap clothes.

Goodwill Stores

Buy clothes from Goodwill. What Goodwill? Yes, Goodwill. I have found designer dress shirts, designer dress pants, high-end sweaters and even sport jackets at Goodwill. The clothes I purchase from Goodwill are in excellent condition (look brand new) and the most I have ever spent for a piece of clothing was $9. The trick with Goodwill is to shop at the Goodwill stores in more affluent areas.

Discount Stores

Buy clothes from stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and The Nordstrom Rack. These retailers have inexpensive clothes for a good price. Are there clothes there that are still quite expensive? Yes, but if you take the time to look, you can find some steals!!

Shop During Sales

I know it may sound obvious, but if all possible, shop during sales.  There are so many sales out there. Many retailers discount clothes between 30 - 70 percent not only during the holiday season but on a regular basis. Try to buy clothes towards the end of the season. Stores have to clear out the current season’s clothes to make room for the upcoming season’s clothes. Right now is the perfect time to find some great bargains!! I am a huge fan of Landsend.
The clothes at Landsend are well made and are guaranteed for life. Recently, at the Landsend store in Sears, I bought 3 pairs of khakis, 4 sweaters, a long sleeve polo, a sport jacket and 2 dress shirts and only spent a total of $105. Stores like Joseph A. Bank, The Men's Wearhouse and K&G typically have a buy 1 get 1 free sale at least once a month. If you are in the market to buy a new suit, you can get together with a friend and get a real nice suit for a drastically reduced price.

Learning about Sales

I know some people don't like doing this, but when I am checking out, I give the store my email address and I know immediately about the current and upcoming sales and receive shopping passes and coupons. If you don't want to give the store your primary email address, create an email address just for this. One side note….. I always opt for an e-receipt. Being blind, it is easier to double check the prices and to keep track of an e-receipt if I have to return something.


Beauty products can be quite pricy and it might not work for you or you might not like it. To avoid shelling out the clams, get samples and try before you buy. Sephora will give you a sample of any beauty product in the store (you can even get many at once) and you can go back several times to get more. Nordstrom typically have samples already made and will give you many samples at once. Last year, I wanted a very expensive cologne. I returned to Nordstrom many times to get a sample spray vial of the cologne and purchased it once it finally went on sale. You can also sample beauty products and if you like it, purchase it from Amazon where it is typically less expensive. The advantage with purchasing beauty products from Sephora and Nordstrom are their return policies. Sephora have a 60 day return policy and Nordstrom’s return policy is unlimited. Samples are also ideal for a weekend trip so you don’t have to carry the full size product with you.


Do you have to spend a ton of money to look nice? No! What you need to spend is time but in the end it is totally worth it! I would love to know what you think. Please drop your thoughts into the comments section below or email me at I will close this week’s column with a quote from Lady Bird Johnson. "I've really tried to learn the art of clothes, because you don't sell for what you're worth unless you look good.” 

Category: Articles
Displaying 3 comments.
Michael3129 Wednesday, 25-Mar-2015 09:29 AM ET:

Jywanza, First and foremost, this is a great article series--something our community really hasn't seen before...especially for men. So, I'm really looking forward to reading future installments. I did have one comment, though, and it is in regards to your recommendation of Goodwill as a place for people to find high-quality discounted clothing. While I appreciate the spirit of the recommendation, Goodwill has a history of paying subminimum wages to some workers with disabilities ( While I realize shopping (or not shopping) at Goodwill is a personal decision, and while I like saving money as much as the next person, I absolutely refuse to support an organization that condones the payment of subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.

Louis D Friday, 27-Mar-2015 3:22 PM ET:

Jywanza, this is an awesome article. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future! I will keep all the stores you mentioned in mind the next time I go shopping, but I was curious about what your opinions are on shopping at Old Navy? My sighted friends tell me that Old Navy has similar styles to the much more expensive Gap or Banana Republic stores at a fraction of the price. I've been checking their website recently and it looks like they have sales quite often, and you get free shipping for orders over $50 and free returns within a 45 day window. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Louis D Friday, 27-Mar-2015 3:30 PM ET:

Jywanza, that was a great article. I look forward to reading more of your work! What is your opinion on shopping at Old Navy? My sighted friends tell me that they have similar styles to the Gap and Banana Republic stores at a fraction of the price. I've been checking their website recently, and it seems like they have sales all the time. As an added bonus, you get free shipping for order over $50, and free returns within a 45 day window.

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Jywanza Maye is a savvy shopper born and raised in New York City. His friends regularly come to him seeking advice about beauty products and where to find the latest clothing deals. He graduated Magna Cum La from Baruch College with a degree in Business Administration. He is a tea enthusiast and an avid reader.

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